All Nordic languages: Tuquoy

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New Member
I am researching the name Tuquoy which is found in France, the Landes and Loire regions, but also in Scotland in the Orkney Islands. I was told that "quoy" was of Norse origin, meaning an enclosure taken from the commons for cattle. In old Norse it would be written kvi. The word "quoy" is attached to another group of letters like Chalmers or Nor or in this case Tu.
In Westray there is the Bay of Tuquoy, the Ness of Tuquoy and an old Norse settlement called Tuquoy. In France there were people whose family names were "of Tuquoy".
Can anyone give me an explanation to the name and to the "tu"?
Thanking you in advance
  • Segorian

    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    It is certainly possible that there is a link between the Orkney place-name Tuquoy and the identically spelled French family name, but a coincidence is perhaps a more likely explanation.

    To answer your question, quoy is one of the more common elements of Orkney place-names. As you mention, it is derived from the Old Norse kví, which designated a fold or pen, usually for sheep. In Orkney, however, the word took on the meaning ‘enclosed piece of land, used for farming’. The meaning of the element tu is more uncertain. With reference to the topography of the area, it has been suggested that its origin is in a version of the Old Norse word þúfa, ‘mound, small hill’, possibly after the addition of the (Gaelic, then Scots) diminutive suffix -ek. In that case, Tú-ek-kví = ‘Small Mounds Enclosure’.
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